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ABC7 Says Won’t Use Bigoted Cameraman

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

GLENDALE—President and General manager of KABC TV sent an email to Asbarez, in which she said that the cameraman that insulted Armenians while interviewing Turkish Genocide deniers on April 24 will not be used in the future by the channel’s news operations.

“We thank the community for bringing this video to our attention. ABC7 does not condone what was said on the video and apologizes to those offended. The photographer in question was not a staff employee of ABC7 and the station has determined his services will no longer be used,” said KABC TV President and General Manager, Cheryl Kunin Fair, in an email in response to an Asbarez article exposing a cameraman hired by ABC7 Eyewitness news who called Armenians “thug-like idiots” while conducting an interview with Ergun Kirlikovali, the former president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and another Turkish Genocide denier Nur Hostetler on April 24 during the Armenian Genocide Rally for Justice in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles.

Our readers and community members deserve credit for their swift response to this insult.

ABC7 also said: “Most importantly, ABC7 believes the story that resulted from the coverage that day is fair and accurate. We would appreciate it if you watch the story and judge for yourself.”

This is where ABC7’s approach to this issue gets a bit thorny. I viewed the segment aired on Channel 7 on Saturday and was disturbed by three critical points in the coverage which the station touts as being “fair and accurate.”

The anchor Michelle Tuzee does not use the word Genocide to describe the day’s events calling it “massacres” and Eyewitness News deploys an old—and rather stale—trick by including the Turkish denialist perspective. The reporter also describes a gathering of a handful Turks at the Turkish Consulate on April 24 as a “counter protest,” without mentioning that Turkish flags that were propped up outnumbered the Turkish protesters.

This begs the question: In their quest for fairness and accuracy, would ABC7 invite a Holocaust denier on its air when covering the Jewish Holocaust?

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region and the Armenian Youth Federation framed the issue properly, by thanking ABC7 for its prompt response to the insult, but also pointing out that featuring Armenian Genocide deniers on its air is not “fair” coverage of the issue.

“The Armenian National Committee of America -Western Region and the Armenian Youth Federation – Western US commend ABC7 for taking the right first step in committing to no longer use the services of the cameraman who made the bigoted anti-Armenian comments. However, we remain outraged after learning that the station believes providing a genocide denier a platform in media is fair and accurate reporting,” said the statement, which was posted on their respective Facebook and other social media pages.

“Just like Nazis would not be given the platform in media coverage of a Holocaust commemoration event, the same standards must be applied to the Armenian Genocide. ABC 7 is headquartered in Glendale, CA where over 95,000 Armenians who are descendants of Genocide survivors live and to highlight the perpetrator is to condone its actions. The utter lack of sensitivity toward such a large segment of the community is deeply concerning to us, and we expect ABC7 to take appropriate measures to address and rectify this situation. The ANCA-WR and the AYF-WR request an immediate meeting with the station leadership to further discuss this issue. We look forward to your prompt response,” concluded the statement.

In our quest for fairness and accuracy we return to Ergun Kirlikovali, whose video exposed the bigoted cameraman, and let his actions and words speak for themselves.

On Tuesday he shared the Asbarez story on his Facebook page and included a rant, in which he defended the cameraman, accused Asbarez of employing “Armenian pressure tactics designed to trample upon the free-speech-rights of Americans,” and said that he and his fellow demonstrators on Sunday “outclassed” the “vulgar and violent behavior of some 60,000 Armenians,” urging Armenians “to choose reasoned debate over vandalism, violence and thuggery.”

http://asbarez.com/149644/abc7-says-wont-use-bigoted-cameraman/


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Turkish Denialist Helps Publicize Truth about the Armenian Genocide

By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com

Ergun Kirlikovali, a resident of Orange County, California, and former president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, has carried out a life-long Don Quixotic battle against recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately for him, the more he denies the Genocide, the more he helps publicize it.

Here is the latest episode of Kirli’s ‘heroic’ actions which once again backfired on him and his obsessive denialism.

On April 24, as 60,000 protestors gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles, Kirli showed up with a handful of his denialist compatriots trying to cover up the tarnished image of their homeland! The Turks’ presence at the protest attracted the attention of the local news media, generating more publicity for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

To take credit for his anti-Armenian protest, Kirli had a cohort videotape his interview with KABC-TV, during which he once again denied the Armenian Genocide. Shockingly, in the midst of the interview, the KABC cameraman made derogatory remarks about Armenians, calling them “thug-like idiots.”

In its news coverage of the April 24 protest, KABC used a sound bite from Kirli’s 8-minute rant. However, no one would have known about the cameraman’s prejudicial comments, if it were not for Kirli posting the raw footage of his interview on Facebook, which got the anti-Armenian cameraman in hot water.

In response to complaints from the public, KABC promptly issued a statement apologizing for its freelance cameraman’s remarks and announcing the termination of his services with the TV station. However, KABC insisted that its story was “fair and accurate.” Many viewers disagreed, citing the inclusion of Kirli’s denialist views in the broadcast. In a phone conversation with KABC’s General Manager last week, I discussed the pitfalls of providing airtime to a denialist and the positive steps the TV station could initiate to educate viewers about the Armenian Genocide. Upset by the station’s conciliatory statement, Kirli posted on Facebook his “disappointment” with KABC’s apology and dismissal of the cameraman after complaints from “Armenian pressure groups.”

The Armenian National Committee of America -- Western Region (ANCA) and Armenian Youth Federation -- Western US (AYF) issued a joint statement contesting KABC’s decision to provide a platform to a notorious genocide denier and asked for a meeting with the TV station’s management. They justifiably contended that KABC would never interview a neo-Nazi while covering a Holocaust commemorative event.

Subsequently, KABC’s management agreed to meet with representatives of ANCA, AYF, and the Armenian Bar Association, and removed from the TV station’s website Kirli’s offensive words along with the questionable news story! After the meeting, Cheryl Kunin Fair, President and General Manager of KABC-TV, issued the following highly principled statement on May 2:

“ABC7 regrets what happened and apologizes for the pain this incident caused the Armenian community, especially on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The actions of the cameraman in question, who no longer works for the station, and the resulting story that aired that day, were not an accurate reflection of ABC7′ s commitment to the Armenian community. While the cameraman’s comments did not air, we regret the inclusion in our story of a short bite from the interview denying the existence of the Genocide on historical grounds, which is counter to the position of a majority of historians today who do call it a Genocide, and see the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians as a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. Efforts are underway in partnership with the ANCA, AYF, Armenian Bar Association and others to provide opportunities for public dialogue, internal education, and meaningful stories about and for the Armenian community and their efforts for Genocide recognition and education. We are committed to moving forward with these initiatives and we thank the ANCA and its partner organizations for their leadership in this dialogue and willingness to listen.”

KABC-TV should be commended for issuing such a reassuring statement, apologizing for the offense caused to the Armenian community, promising not to use the services of the bigoted cameraman, expressing regret for interviewing a genocide denialist, reaffirming the truth of the Armenian Genocide, and pledging to work with community organizations to educate the public on this critical issue. Without Kirli’s persistent denialist endeavors, none of these constructive steps would have been possible!

ABC7 ‘Regrets’ Airing ’Interview Denying the Existence of the Genocide’

2/5/16

KABC-TV President Cheryl Kunin Fair issued a statement Monday

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

LOS ANGELES—The president and general manager of KABC-TV Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate, issued a statement on Monday saying the station regrets “the inclusion in our story of a short bite from the interview denying the existence of the Genocide on historical grounds, which is counter to the position of a majority of historians today who do call it a Genocide.”

After Asbarez revealed last week that a KABC cameraman was caught on tape calling Armenians “thug-like idiots” and other bigoted comments, the Armenian-American community expressed its outrage by reaching out to ABC7 by phone, email and social media and registered its complaints and grievance.

In response to the community’s anger over the incident, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region along with the Armenian Youth Federation and the Armenian Bar Association reached out to KABC –TV’s leadership and met with the Disney-owned station’s president and general manager, Cheryl Kunin Fair, to discuss the incident and to sensitize ABC7’s leadership about inclusion of Armenian Genocide deniers on their air.

After Asbarez’s article was published, Kunin Fair issued a statement, in which she assured the public about the station’s decision not to use the cameraman in question. Monday’s statement by KABC-TV goes a step further and pledges that the station would work with the three organizations to better report on the Armenian Genocide.

“We are gratified that ABC7 responded promptly and effectively to the legitimate concerns raised by our community as a result of both its on-air reporting and the off-air derogatory comments by its former cameraman about the Armenian Genocide and the Rally for Justice on April 24th,” said ANCA-WR Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian.

“After extensive discussions with ABC7 management, we are satisfied with the steps that ABC7 is willing to take to rectify this matter, including the statement published today. Any implication that there are two sides to the story of the Armenian Genocide is historically and factually wrong, and giving voice to Genocide deniers is unacceptable just as it would be for Holocaust deniers. We look forward to working closely with ABC7 to further develop its relationship with our community and its concerns, and we are confident that ABC7 will move forward soon with its commitment to do so,” explained Hovsepian.

Below is the complete text of the KABC-TV’s statement.

ABC7 regrets what happened and apologizes for the pain this incident

caused the Armenian community, especially on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The actions of the cameraman in question, who no longer works for the station, and the resulting story that aired that day, were not an accurate reflection of ABC7′ s commitment to the Armenian community. While the cameraman’s comments did not air, we regret the inclusion in our story of a short bite from the interview denying the existence of the Genocide on historical grounds, which is counter to the position of a majority of historians today who do call it a Genocide, and see the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians as a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people.

Efforts are underway in partnership with the ANCA, A YF, Armenian Bar Association and others to provide opportunities for public dialogue, internal education, and meaningful stories about and for the Armenian community and their efforts for Genocide recognition and education. We are committed to moving forward with these initiatives and we thank the ANCA and its partner organizations for their leadership in this dialogue and willingness to listen.

Cheryl Kunin Fair President and General Manager KABC-TV


This article contains text with a copyright from Asbarez. Please help us by extracting the factual information and eliminating the rest in order to keep the site in accordance to fair use standards, or by obtaining permission for reuse on this site..



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